88 W C A D

88 Ways to Celebrate
Appreciate Diversity Month
- www.appreciatediversitymonth.org -
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month, 2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
Celebrating Appreciate Diversity Month can be done individually or in a group, quietly or with
great fanfare, with spontaneity or detailed planning. All it takes is an idea that you can use to
fit your needs. Here is a list of suggested activities that will serve as a good place to begin. No
matter how you choose to recognize this important time period within your organization,
school, or community, the main objective should be to increase knowledge and understanding
through conversations of connection.
Appreciate Diversity Month will come alive through individual and personal accounts and real
stories around different histories and heritages. Every effort has been made to suggest
activities that promote greater understanding of our differences while encouraging
conversations that help us learn about our commonalities. The activities go beyond the visible
or tangible aspects of culture and ethnicity, such as attire or cuisine, celebrating how these
intangible things add to the uniqueness of individuals and add strength to our communities,
organizations, and schools.
These activities can be:
• Individual experiences or group events (done in pairs, small groups, or even through
web-based conversations, such as the bulletin board on the
www.appreciatediversitymonth.org website)
• Magnified or minimized, based upon the audience.
• A single event or a series of events done over time
• Enhanced with facilitated dialogues that promote “conversations of connection”
• Communicated through a variety of vehicles, such as handouts, index cards, or
follow-up emails.
Please help us build this list for next year by going to our website and adding any additional
suggestions you may have at: www.appreciatediversitymonth.org.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month, 2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
1. Activity Title:
Appreciate Diversity Logo Contest
Sponsor a contest to design an Appreciate Diversity logo for your organization.
This logo could appear on buttons, t-shirts, or stickers. Provide prizes for the
top winners.
Connection Activity:
Encourage team thinking and submissions.
2. Activity Title:
Cross-Cultural Movie Reviews
Have individuals of varying cultures see a popular mainstream movie or
movies of different cultures as a group and have them write their own personal
reviews. Post reviews on your company website, other diversity websites, or
Connection Activity:
Compare and contrast the viewpoints between individuals and explore how
each person's culture influences their opinions and view of situations portrayed
in the film. Encourage local press to write reviews with do the same.
3. Activity Title:
Cultural Art Exhibit
Feature the work of artist of various cultures and backgrounds. Include
signage that tells the story of the art and the artist. If enough local artists,
invite the artists to join one or more of the showings to share their
Connection Activity:
View the art at least with one other person so at the conclusion of the viewing
you can talk about what your individual experiences were like.
4. Activity Title:
Learn a Folk Dance
Have a professional ethnic dancer come to your organization to demonstrate a
particular type of folk dancing or take a class or check out a video/DVD from
your library to learn dances such as Hawaiian hula, African healing, Russian
folk, or others like belly dancing, flamenco, reels, or clog dancing.
Connection Activity:
Get a group of friends or coworkers to take a class together for added fun.
Ask local dance experts, employees, or students to demonstrate folk dances
during events at your organization. Encourage them to teach audience
members basic movements or steps of a particular dance.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
5. Activity Title:
Multicultural Film Festival
Be a corporate sponsor or individual attendee of a local ethnic film festival.
Invite community groups or local movie theatres to co-sponsor the showing of
a film series. Create a project for students involving watching movies from two
or more cultures that deal with a similar theme.
Connection Activity:
Ask them to compare and contrast how that theme is addressed or viewed
within the different cultures.
6. Activity Title:
Multicultural Perspectives in Entertainment
Read a book or see a movie containing multicultural perspectives like What's
Cooking? (2000), a film that addresses Jewish, Latin, Asian, and Black
families in the same neighborhood dealing with similar issues around the
common American holiday of Thanksgiving.
Connection Activity:
Explore the commonalities in issues faced and the different effects that culture
has on the addressing of issues.
7. Activity Title:
Music from Around the World
Play different types of cultural music in reception or common areas.
Appropriate cultural CDs could be played as your organization's telephone
"hold" music on a rotating basis.
Connection Activity:
Ask employees to bring in examples of music from their own culture and
heritage or hire local cultural musical groups to provide live music for a special
8. Activity Title:
Appreciate Diversity Month Briefing
Description: :
Take five minutes at the beginning of regularly scheduled meetings to provide
a briefing on diversity-related activities and event in the organization and/or
the larger community. Other ideas could be recommendations of diversityrelated books, recipes, movies, plays, etc.
Connection Activity:
Allow for participation by all meeting attendees, collecting suggestions to add
to the next meetings' agenda.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
9. Activity Title:
Corporate Diversity Programs
Integrate Appreciate Diversity Month conversations and activities into training
programs related to diversity.
Connection Activity:
Encourage Diversity Councils to sponsor events regularly as part of a
corporate initiative. Build in conversations of connection in formal programs,
including new employee orientations.
10. Activity Title:
Group Vision Statement
Create a group vision statement for Appreciate Diversity Month. Provide sticky
notes, pens, and a blank wall for people to add their ideas, words, and
phrases. At the end of the month, compile the ideas into one statement or a
comprehensive list. Post or circulate.
Connection Activity:
Get group input, feedback, and consensus in the creation of the statement.
11. Activity Title:
International Business Meetings
Use resources and books like Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands: How to do
Business in 60 Countries to find out more about the cultural norms of how
business is conducted in countries your organization has operations in, does
business with, or that you will be personally visiting. Remember that those
norms may be similar or greatly different from the U.S.
Connection Activity:
Respectfully ask your international colleagues questions to learn more about
their customs around punctuality, gift-giving, business cards, negotiating,
greeting protocol, forms of address, etc. When in doubt, always ask for more
12. Activity Title:
Make Respect Mandatory
Address honoring differences in your company's mission statements, core
values, written policies, press releases, etc.
Connection Activity:
Have conversations about core values with others and hold people
accountable for their words and actions.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
13. Activity Title:
Multicultural Job Fair
Organize a multi-level job fair in your community with an emphasis on diversity.
Connection Activity:
Invite and talk to people of all ages, from grade-schoolers (to emphasize the
importance of education, to college graduates (to explore opportunities), to
older workers seeking to re-enter the job market (to help discover ways to
become more employable).
14. Activity Title:
Support Minority Vendors and Minority-owned Businesses
Utilize the services and products of local minority businesses.
Connection Activity:
Ask employees for recommendations or ideas for resourcing more diverse
vendor opportunities.
15. Activity Title:
Create a Feedback Loop
Keep a journal or notes of feedback you receive from those involved in your
celebration of Appreciate Diversity Month.
Connection Activity:
Use the stories you hear from participants to link the idea of appreciating
differences to job satisfaction and building a respectful environment. These
anecdotes may spark even more conversations and ideas for celebrating
diversity throughout the year!
16. Activity Title:
Cultural Values Conversations
Have a discussion with someone from another culture about their cultural
values related to various cultural variables like time, gestures, appearance,
and how they view the elderly. Use a resource book like Gestures : The Do's
and Taboos of Body Language Around the World or Bridging Cultural Conflicts
: A New Approach for a Changing World to inspire ideas.
Connection Activity:
Think about a time when you have been frustrated, misread, or misunderstood
something because of your own personal expectations around time,
appearance, or gestures. Start your conversation with a non-judgmental
question like, "Does your culture tend to …? or "How are elders in your culture
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
17. Activity Title:
Diversity Lifeline
Have individuals create a personal timeline on a piece of paper by drawing a
long straight line and labeling the left end of the line "birthday" and the right
end "today." Ask them to think about events in their lives that taught them
about diversity and to mark those events on the timeline they have drawn. Use
questions to generate ideas like: When was the first time you met someone of
a different race? Learned another language? Traveled far from home? Worked
with someone of a different culture? Noticed a person who avoided you?
Observed an incident you believe could have been related to bias or
Connection Activity:
Ask participants to pair off with someone of different generation or background
to answer the following questions: What have you learned about each other
after hearing about these events? How do these different experiences impact
how you personally view diversity (positively or negatively)?
18. Activity Title:
Diversity Roundtable
Start a monthly "diversity roundtable" to discuss critical issues facing your
Connection Activity:
Listen to learn about different perspectives and offer your own perspectives.
19. Activity Title:
Encourage "Uncommon" Affinity Groups
Break from the typical affinity groups around race and gender to uncommon
variables. Create groups assembled around unique categories like basketball
players, scrapbookers, or other life experiences.
Connection Activity:
Encourage these groups to meet and talk about the other commonalities they
may share.
20. Activity Title:
Generational Perspectives
Have a group conversation about personal beliefs around age. Divide the
group into two sections: "older" and "younger" (the composition of your larger
group will determine those definitions). Give each group a question like the
following (brainstorm more) to answer: What was your first car and how have
the types of vehicles you have owned changed over time? How many jobs
have you held? What songs do you remember from your childhood? How do
you define "dressing for success?"
Connection Activity:
Compare group responses. Ask if there were any surprises as a result of the
conversation. Consider how the group's differing perspectives might impact
how they work together.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
21. Activity Title:
Hobby Fair
Organize an event in your cafeteria or other common areas for people to bring
in representations, tools, or examples of their hobbies, such as fishing
memorabilia, photos, ice skates, quilts, etc.
Connection Activity:
Encourage participants to talk about their hobbies, including how long they
have practiced, where, most unusual results, etc.
22. Activity Title:
Hold an Appreciate Diversity Month Block Party
Put up a tent in a yard, find a park, or use your company's parking lot to hold
a party. Invite employees, vendors, colleagues, or neighbors to share music,
food, displays and stories. This can be as big or small as you desire. It will
amaze you how quickly this becomes an annual event.
Connection Activity:
Schedule events, entertainment, and contests that promote conversations and
23. Activity Title:
Honor Diverse Families
The definitions of "family," are multiple both in history, cross-culturally, and in
contemporary society and include traditional male-female couples, GLBT
partners, singles, couples with pets, ESL, siblings or grandparents as
caregivers, adoption, mixed race, divorces, families of "choice," multigenerational families, etc. Create a display wall for employees or students to
show a photo and a brief description of their "family."
Connection Activity:
Invite participants to share a fact or story about their families that make them
unique. Ask them to share what some of the strengths they have and
challenges they face as a family.
24. Activity Title:
International Penpal/Keypal Campaign
International penpal/keypal projects can be arranged for an individual student
or a whole class. Decide in advance on a possible specific goal for students
learning (such as to find out about a game or a holiday celebrated in another
country, how the project will be implemented, and how often the exchanges
should take place.
Connection Activity:
Ask students to write a short report or essay on what they learned from their
penpal/keypal regarding the assigned project. Ask for suggestions from
students for future topics of correspondences.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
25. Activity Title:
Life Events Photo Board
Create a corkboard display related to employees' personal important life
events, such as weddings, births, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, family reunions, etc.
Connection Activity:
Ask employees to share photos or other paper memorabilia.
26. Activity Title:
Lunch Invitations
Vary your lunch partners. Seek out coworkers of different backgrounds, from
different departments, and at different levels and lengths of tenure in the
Connection Activity:
Ask one another respectful and open-ended questions that invite explanation
and further conversation.
27. Activity Title:
Web of Inclusion
Create a web of inclusion on a corkboard, a whiteboard, or online. Start by
asking one individual to note something that makes them unique. As others
see the previously posted item, they look for connections to their own lives and
make an addition. For example: I grew up in the Texas, the next person
connects to this with a line and adds: I lived in Texas when my husband was in
the military, the next person connects to this and adds: My son is in the Army
and is stationed in Belgium, and so on.
Connection Activity:
Encourage participants to ask more questions of the person who has drawn a
connection to their item, as well as others in the web.
28. Activity Title:
Where Were You When …?
As an icebreaker or meeting opener, ask participants, Where were you when
… (JFK, MLK, Jr., Bobby Kennedy, space shuttle)?
Connection Activity:
Ask participants to consider how their age may have impacted their reaction to
specific historical events. How did it they feel if they understood what was
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
29. Activity Title:
Accessibility Signs
Create a worksheet containing the accessibility symbols that people with
disabilities rely on and that work to make workplaces and other areas more
hospitable. Symbols and their meanings can be downloaded from
http://www.monmouthartscouncil.org/ADA_icons/ADA_icons.html. Ask
individuals to look at the symbols and then offer guesses as to what each
means, then share with them the real meaning of each sign.
Connection Activity:
Ask why participants think these symbols are helpful to people with disabilities.
What are some simple ways these symbols can be incorporated into your
organization or community if they are not currently?
30. Activity Title:
Act as a Change Agent
Speak up when you hear inappropriate cultural or ethnic jokes or comments.
Don't be a "silent supporter." Let people know that biased speech is always
Connection Activity:
Talk about a time when you acted as a Change Agent and felt proud of doing
it. Encourage others to act as Change Agents in person, by phone, or by
31. Activity Title:
Appreciate Diversity Book Club
Create and post a list of suggested readings related to appreciating diversity
then host monthly meetings to discuss designated readings.
Connection Activity:
Encourage participants to talk about what they learned from reading and how
it relates to their experiences.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
32. Activity Title:
Around the World
Display a world map and have individuals use tacks or post-its to indicate:
locations of your company's global business partners, their own countries of
origin, places they have traveled, and/or places in current headlines. Select
one or two countries for discussion for a meeting starter, "lunch and learn," or
special conversation. This can be done with states and regions of the USA, as
Connection Activity:
Talk about the similarities and differences of these locations in terms of history,
cultural nuances, weather, etc.
33. Activity Title:
Challenge Stereotypes in the Media
Watch television and look at other forms of media with your children. Listen
closely to discern accents used in relation to good guys/bad guys, certain
ethnic groups being linked to certain products, etc.
Connection Activity:
Talk about how people who create shows and advertising can have biases just
like everyone else. Seek out books or other resources that talk about the
actual histories of popularized stories and compare how they are the same or
differ from media portrayals.
34. Activity Title:
Coffee Can Conversations
Ask participants to bring in small objects of cultural significance (for example,
matches, combs, chopsticks, currency, etc.) In small groups, put the objects in
a coffee can. One by one, have the participants pull an object out of the can
and ask the members of the group to talk about its significance.
Connection Activity:
With each object, ask participants how it does or could connect to something
within their culture. For example, a comb will generate interesting conversation
about hairstyles and adornments. Provide opportunities for this type of sharing
to begin and continue throughout the year.
35. Activity Title:
Country/State Flags
Encourage individuals to bring in their national flags or flags from the state in
which they were born for part of a large display. Provide information about the
place represented and cultural significance of particular colors or symbols
used in the design of the flags.
Connection Activity:
Ask about the flags in order to learn and share.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
36. Activity Title:
Cultural Bulletin Board
Create a display in a common area where employees can post notices of
upcoming cultural events in their communities.
Connection Activity:
Invite friends or coworkers to attend these events and talk about what was
37. Activity Title:
Cultural Minimuseum
Create a minimuseum in a prominent corner or display case (make sure there
is adequate safety for items displayed). Exhibit ideas can rotate on a regular
Connection Activity:
Ask individuals to bring in items for the display that build on a chosen theme,
such as wedding traditions, food, rites of passage, specific regions of the
world, dancing, etc.
38. Activity Title:
Cultural Panel Discussions
Host a panel discussions via lunch "brown bag" sessions about cultural values
related to banking, gender roles, etc., or topic of the group's choice.
Connection Activity:
Ask participants to put questions they always wanted to know on index cards.
Collect the questions and give them to the panel to answer.
39. Activity Title:
Cultural Posters
Display posters in common areas of your organization that celebrate cultural
diversity and/or prominent individuals of diverse backgrounds.
Connection Activity:
Ask people to submit their own suggestions of diverse groups or individuals
that could be featured.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
40. Activity Title:
Cultural S/heroes Conversations
Have a conversation with someone about their cultural s/heroes. They may talk
about historic people, media figures, acquaintances, or family members that
they admire. Encourage them to share how these individuals represent their
culture and background. Think about symbols, rituals, or beliefs associated
with that person. For example: Heroine: Gloria Steinem, Symbols: Ms.
magazine, Rituals: equal rights rallies for women, Beliefs: Women should
succeed at all they desire. Choose someone of a different generation than
yours to have an even more interesting conversation.
Connection Activity:
Think about how the symbols, ritual, or beliefs surrounding the person they tell
you about relate to yourself and your own culture. Share your thoughts with
your conversation partner.
41. Activity Title:
Cultural Speakers
Provide cultural speakers on any topic that informs the audience about some
aspect of their culture. Topics could range from food, historical events, heroes,
famous people, popular games for kids, etc. Speakers can be found by
contacting local cultural groups, searching the Internet, or asking for names
from various participants. Be sure to do your homework to make sure that the
speaker will support the message of appreciating diversity and building
Connection Activity:
Have a follow-up group conversation and share one thing you learned and
how it may be different or similar to something you have experienced yourself.
42. Activity Title:
Different Language Alphabets
To compare different written languages, use an Internet programs that spells
your name in Braille, Arabic, or Japanese kanji: at a site like
Connection Activity:
Share your results with others or post your favorite in a visible place to inspire
comments and questions.
43. Activity Title:
Diversity Reading List
Ask for recommendations of readings considered “classics” from members of
diverse backgrounds and cultures, particularly books that they find influential
or inspirational for appreciating diversity. Collect and distribute the suggestions
via a bibliography list.
Connection Activity:
Have participants talk about the book they chose to read. Why did they choose
it and what did they learn?
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
44. Activity Title:
Education in Other Countries
Learn about schools in other countries using resources like
http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/. Compare the length of time in classrooms, attitude
toward teachers, vacations, scholastic scoring, and more.
Connection Activity:
Try to find a school that you can partner with for the year to continue the
learning. Share learning with others.
45. Activity Title:
Expand Your Definition of Diversity
Diversity is much more than race, ethnicity, or gender. Think about what other
things make people unique.
Connection Activity:
Brainstorm in a group what other aspects of diversity you may not think about
on a daily basis. Use examples like: marital status, education level,
height/weight, working style, religious practices, etc. to get the conversation
46. Activity Title:
Global Science Projects
Assign projects for students to explore areas such as regional U.S.
ecosystems, specific animals found only in certain regions of the world, or
participate in an international collaborative experiments such as the
International Boiling Point Project (to discover which environmental factors
such as room temperature or elevation, has the greatest influence on water's
boiling point) More ideas for global projects can be found at
Connection Activity:
Solicit other creative project ideas from students.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
47. Activity Title:
History and Heritage Months
Create a plan to celebrate the seven nationally-recognized History and
Heritage Months within your organization, such as sharing the significance of
the month, little-known facts, resources, bringing in cultural speakers, playing
educational games, displaying posters, etc., for: African American History
Month (February), Women's History Month (March), Asian Pacific American
Heritage Month (May), Gay and Lesbian Pride (June), Hispanic Heritage
Month (September), Disability Employment Awareness Month (October), and
American Indian Month (November). A variety of resources on the origins of
these months can be found on the internet at sites such as
http://www.infoplease.com/. Yearly Presidential proclamations about the
months can be found at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/
Connection Activity:
Ask for employees or students to contribute individual or group ideas on how
to celebrate each month.
48. Activity Title:
Internet Scavenger Hunt
Prepare an email worksheet with search questions for individual workstation
Internet use. You may want to create a contest for those who complete the
hunt. Example questions might be: Name a country other than France that
uses French as an official language. What is the national music of Brazil?
What color represents prosperity in most Asian cultures? Which culture paints
the brides hands and feet with Henna prior to the wedding?
Connection Activity:
Share results and winning names with all participants. Create a method (such
as via email) for them to submit a question to the search that is related to their
personal culture or ethnicity.
49. Activity Title:
Interpersonal Scavenger Hunt
Prepare a worksheet for the search by having people submit questions and
items to be included. Encourage them to ask things that are related to their
own culture and background. Questions should cause the participants to find
differences and similarities with other people in the group. Examples: Find
someone in this room /building /neighborhood who speaks more than one
language. Find someone who shares your favorite food.
Connection Activity:
This activity will generate a great deal of dialogue without the need for too
much formal facilitation.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
50. Activity Title:
Linguistics/Language Exercise
Explore the linguistic and cultural composition of the US by looking at the
Modern Language Association Language Map (available at
Connection Activity:
Ask individuals to look at the diversity of languages and ethnic groups in your
state. What words from those languages and cultures have been "adopted"
into standard English use?
51. Activity Title:
Multicultural Date Resources
Make inclusive resources, like ProGroup's Honoring Differences® calendar,
available to employees and utilize them around respectful ways to schedule
meetings and events and other dietary or work considerations related to ethnic
or religious holidays.
Connection Activity:
Invite employees or others to contribute ideas for additional resources, dates,
or simple ways to honor their own cultural holidays.
52. Activity Title:
Multicultural Newsletters
Sponsor a company-wide multicultural newsletter that will foster
understanding, publicize cultural events, and encourage conversation.
Connection Activity:
Encourage individual contributions around writing, topic suggestions, and
specific events.
53. Activity Title:
Multicultural Show and Tell
Have students do some research into the cultural group that they identify with
and then ask each student to bring in one item or fact related to his or her
family's background. It might relate to a country of origin, home state/region in
the U.S., or special customs and traditions they observe.
Connection Activity:
Ask student to teach others one thing related to the item, such as its word in a
native language or how the item is made. A discussion could follow into what
cultural identity is and comparing North America to other parts of the world.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
54. Activity Title:
Multicultural Toys
Expose your children to positive images of multiple ethnic groups through dolls
of different skin colors, toys from other cultures, books, music, movies, plays,
and other activities.
Connection Activity:
Talk to your children honestly and openly about the differences that make each
of us unique and the similarities that we all share.
55. Activity Title:
Multicultural Trivia Game
Use a multicultural trivia game as a contest during Appreciate Diversity Month
celebrations or as a learning unit activity to test knowledge of U.S. and
international cultures. Purchase a game like A Trivia for All Seasons from
http://www.technoforge.ca/htm/sales.htm or create your own multiple choice,
true/false or bingo-style quiz from resources like World Trivia: The Book of
Fascinating Facts: Culture, Politics and Geography by Michael Smith.
Connection Activity:
Encourage employees or students to suggest questions that could be
56. Activity Title:
Question of the Day
Create and publish a daily question, via email or other vehicle, related to
various cultures and customs. Offer a small prize with a multicultural theme to
the individual who first answers the question correctly.
Connection Activity:
Encourage students or employees to submit "stumper" questions from their
own culture.
57. Activity Title:
Read All About It
Go to a newsstand or book retailer and purchase two or three different cultural
publications, such as Asian, Latino, or Eastern European-focus newspapers.
Connection Activity:
Look at the front pages and compare headlines. Are the focuses the same or
different? Find an article in each publication that deals with the same
significant worldwide issue or event. Compare and contrast the perspective of
each culture on the topic.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
58. Activity Title:
Rural/Urban Demographics
Research and educate yourself on your state's demographic composition,
particularly in major urban areas. Compare with the ethnic diversity in rural
areas. Note any surprises you discover. Demographic information by state can
be accessed at http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/.
Connection Activity:
Make an effort to find out more about the ethnic groups that comprise the
greatest percentages of your state's population.
59. Activity Title:
Take a Field Trip
Provide opportunities for employees or students to attend local cultural events
and exhibits that feature a particular culture.
Connection Activity:
Ask participants to share verbally or in writing one thing that they learned or
found interesting and why.
60. Activity Title:
Where Did That Come From?
Create a Q&A icebreaker activity or contest around learning the origins of
everyday objects or things. Use books like "The Extraordinary Origins of
Ordinary Things" and "Stories Behind Everyday Things" to generate ideas for
items to use, such as French fries (credited to Thomas Jefferson bringing the
idea back from France), safety pins (invented in the 2nd millennium BC), or
lawn mowers (first produced in 1832).
Connection Activity:
Shared answers will likely generate laughs and conversations. Ask participants
if anything surprised them and what, if any, pre-conceived ideas they may
have previously had about the origin of the item.
61. Activity Title:
Words of Respect
Identify a group of words and terms from various cultures that are commonly
used. Consider promoting a words of the day through bulletin boards, emails,
or posters. Be sure to add pronunciation tips. Here are some suggestions:
Hello: hola [OH-la] (Spanish) marhaba [MAR-hah-bah] (Arabic) ni-hao [NEEhow] (Mandarin Chinese) Thank you: domo arigato [doh-mo a-REE-ga-toe]
(Japanese) salamat po [sa-LA-mat-po] (Tagalog) motshakeram [MOAT-shehKER-am] (Farsi)
Connection Activity:
Encourage others to use these words when appropriate with other employees
or clients.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
62. Activity Title:
Common Foods
Have a conversation with someone of another culture about common foods in
your culture and theirs, such as rice or bread. For example: Someone from
Barbados may eat rice prepared with beans and someone from Italy may eat
rice with green peas.
Connection Activity:
Explore commonalities and differences in preparation and presentation of
common foods between cultures. Use books like Everybody Cooks Rice and
Everybody Bakes Bread by Norah Dooley to spark a conversation.
63. Activity Title:
Feature Ethnic Cuisine
Consult and plan with your cafeteria to feature different ethnic dishes on a
regular basis, use local ethnic restaurants to cater events, or post ethnic takeout menus in your lunch/break rooms. Create a Have you ever eaten ...?
checklist of various dishes from ethnic takeout menus and use as a meeting
starter or icebreaker.
Connection Activity:
Talk about how traditional cultural foods have influenced your own family
recipes and popular "fusion" dishes served in restaurants.
64. Activity Title:
Global Potluck
Serve foods from different cultures by having people bring a specialty
important to them. Provide identification signs and handouts that share the
recipe and other information such as who brought the item, stories of its
cultural significance (for example, typical times it is eaten or any other
interesting facts about the item or its ingredients).
Connection Activity:
Have people talk about which foods they enjoyed, why, or similar dishes that
their own families may prepare. Individual recipes could be collected,
published as a booklet, and distributed as gifts to employees, colleagues, or
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
65. Activity Title:
Visit Ethnic Restaurants
Plan family dinners or dinners with colleagues or friends in diverse
neighborhoods and restaurants that feature different cultural foods.
Connection Activity:
Have each member of your group order a different entrée from the menu,
sample one another's dishes and have a conversation about what you
like/don't like about each thing you try.
66. Activity Title:
Cultural Role-play
Have participants pick a s/hero or historical figure from their own cultural
group or another group they admire. Have them research and prepare a minipresentation where they take on the role of the person they selected.
Encourage costumes and props that will add to an understanding of this
person and their contributions.
Connection Activity:
Ask any questions you may have about the person portrayed either while the
actor is "in character" or after the presentation is complete.
67. Activity Title:
Cultural Storytellers
Storytelling is a big part of many cultures and way to share the history and
heritage with the next generation. Invite representatives from various senior
communities or trained storytellers to share stories of their background and
Connection Activity:
Encourage others to share their stories even if they have been passed down
to them and embellished along the way.
68. Activity Title:
Family Portrait Collage
Create your own personal display of family photographs going back as many
generations as possible. Find out stories about relatives you may not have
known or known well from other family members.
Connection Activity:
Ask family members for copies of their favorite photos, making sure to find out
the names of all people in the photos and any interesting stories about the
individuals or situation pictured. You may find out something you never knew
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
69. Activity Title:
Immigrants' Stories
Invite and host panel of three individuals who have left their country to live in
the U.S. Have them share what life was like in their homeland, how that is
different today, and their personal experience in the U.S.
Connection Activity:
Encourage participants to ask the panel members questions and to share with
them what part of their heritage they would like others to know about.
70. Activity Title:
Local History Center
Plan a trip for students to a local history center, making an effort to seek out
perspectives or cultural contributions that may be missing from traditional
recounts of historical events.
Connection Activity:
Ask students to think creatively and draw a picture, write a short essay, or
compose a poem about one aspect of the culture they learned about.
71. Activity Title:
Organize a Family Reunion
Celebrate the diversity found in your own family by gathering members
together from as far away as you can. If not feasible, research into your family
tree and share your findings with the rest of your family.
Connection Activity:
Use family gatherings as an opportunity to encourage storytelling and the
sharing of multi-generational experiences and perspectives. You may find a
s/hero in your own family.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
72. Activity Title:
Community Cultural Event Planning
Connect with others in your community to plan festivals, speakers, storytelling,
music, theatre and other events during this period.
Connection Activity:
End each event with time to talk and network.
73. Activity Title:
Donate Cultural Materials to School Libraries
Donate books, films, magazines and other materials related to various cultures
to school libraries. Organize a company or community book drive.
Connection Activity:
Encourage people to talk about the materials they donate, such as what they
are about and why they think they are important for others to view or read.
74. Activity Title:
International Literacy Day: September 8
It is estimated that 860 million of the world’s adults do not know how to read or
write (nearly two-thirds of this number are women), and that more than 100
million children lack access to education. Volunteer to help someone read on
International Literacy Day, organize a read-athon to raise money for a local
literacy program, or find other ways to acknowledge the work of literacy tutors,
extension workers, and volunteers whose efforts make such a difference in
people’s lives. More information can be found on the website
Connection Activity:
Solicit creative suggestions from employees or students on ways your
organization can host and event or speaker on the importance of literacy or
sponsor a community award for literacy volunteers.
75. Activity Title:
Multicultural Gifts and Thank Yous
Patronize local businesses and seek out product lines aimed at diverse
groups. Use greeting cards and gifts with multicultural designs or cultural
artwork as thank yous for organizers or contributors to Appreciate Diversity
Connection Activity:
As an added touch, words of thanks in other languages (see Words of
Respect for ideas) could be added to correspondences.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
76. Activity Title:
Multicultural Internet Links
Visit Internet sites that promote diversity/multiculturalism like
www.appreciatediversitymonth.org . From your own website, provide a list of
links to other sites that promote diversity or highlight particular countries that
you either do business with or are studying.
Connection Activity:
Encourage employees or others people to use the bulletin board to share
ideas and stories with others related to appreciating diversity and brainstorm
and submit other appropriate cultural resources.
77. Activity Title:
Promote Religious Understanding
Host respectful visits by individuals of other faiths to your own place of worship
or find a respectful way visit another's place of worship.
Connection Activity:
After observing or taking part in a ritual of another faith, ask practitioners
respectful and non-judgmental questions to learn more about their religious
78. Activity Title:
Volunteer around Multicultural Issues
Arrange a volunteer event for an organization the helps with Multicultural
Connection Activity:
Allow employees opportunities to brainstorm more ideas for organizations to
assist and provide time to honor their volunteer commitments.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
79. Activity Title:
Celebrate an Ethnic Holiday
If you celebrate a particular holiday, invite someone of another culture to share
your traditions or ask your friends or colleagues to find out if any of them
celebrate a particular ethnic holiday. Find out how the holiday is celebrated
and where you might attend a cultural event related to the holiday, if
appropriate. If the holiday is similar to one you personally celebrate, perhaps
an aspect of it could be incorporated into one of your own celebrations. For
example, a custom from the Chinese New Year, such as the use of flowers and
the color red.
Connection Activity:
Invite a friend or colleague to speak to a group about the cultural and personal
significance of a holiday they celebrate.
80. Activity Title:
Cultural Dress/Costumes Exhibit
Host a display of traditional fashions from around the world, making sure to
include both men’s and women’s clothing. This could include live modeling of
cultural dress or static displays. Be sure to provide information on any cultural
holidays or events associated with particular clothing as well as the origin of
the designs, colors, and fabrics.
Connection Activity:
Have the audience or viewers talk to each other about what they learned. Was
there a particular item of clothing belonging to another culture that they liked
or had seen before? If so, in what context?
81. Activity Title:
Cultural Traditions Conversations
Engage in conversation with a neighbor, colleague, or friend about cultural
traditions they may observe, such as gift giving, rites of passage, New Year's
celebrations, marriage, births, naming, and death.
Connection Activity:
Keep the conversation going throughout the year and encourage others to ask
you about traditions you may observe, as well.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
82. Activity Title:
Cultural/ World Regional Games
Learn and play games that could encompass sports, board, card, or lawn
games, as well as marbles, and variations of chess, dominoes, etc., specific to
cultures or regions of the world. This could be done over an extended period,
with participants choosing a different game to play each day, and tournaments
could be planned, as well. Games can be purchased, brought in by
participants, or sourced via the Internet. Provide cultural and historical
information for each game for added interest. Some examples are: Chinese
Checkers, Carom, Mah Jong, Canasta, etc.
Connection Activity:
Conversations will naturally happen between players of the games.
83. Activity Title:
Doll Display
Create a display of dolls from around the world in a central location. Ask
individuals to bring in traditional dolls of their own cultures or those collected
during travels. Use them to talk about the unique dress of various countries.
Connection Activity:
Generate conversations related to the dolls and what they represent.
84. Activity Title:
Gift Exchange
Get inspired by another culture's gift giving traditions such as Japanese
"omiage" (bringing back some small souvenirs of a trip or visit for colleagues),
the symbolic lucky money given to children for Chinese New Year, or modest
gifts in threes (three is a luck number in Thailand). Educate yourself about
other proper guidelines when giving gifts to colleagues or friends in other
countries with sites like http://www.culturalsavvy.com/gift_giving.htm.
Connection Activity:
Ask students or colleagues to suggest ways that their own cultural traditions
around gift giving could be incorporated into celebrations of various events or
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
85. Activity Title:
Proverbs from Around the World
Share proverbs from different countries. Use them as part of your email
signature, post them on your office door, use them as a screensaver, write
them in greeting cards, etc. Find proverbs in books or on the Internet about
various subjects from various cultures.
Connection Activity:
Have a conversation to compare and contrast the perspectives found in
proverbs from several cultures on the same topic. For example, proverbs about
WISDOM: Wisdom cannot be bought for money. (African) All wisdom is not
taught in your school. (Hawaiian) Too much wisdom is folly. (German) Wisdom
adorns old age. (Russian) Wisdom without use is fire without warmth.
(Swedish) A wise head keeps a shut mouth. (Irish) NEIGHBORS: A near
neighbor is better than a distant cousin. (Italian) Better good neighbors that
are near than relatives far away. (Chinese) If your neighbor is an early riser,
you will become one. (Albanian) Love your neighbor, but don’t pull down the
fence. (German) Your neighbor is your teacher. (Egyptian)
86. Activity Title:
Wedding/Commitment/Handfasting Customs
Acknowledge and celebrate the various local and global customs people
incorporate into their weddings. Research wedding customs from other
cultures using resources such as the Internet (for example,
http://www.zawaj.com/weddingways_main.html and http://www.topicsmag.com/internatl/weddings/wedding-customs.htm) or books (like Timeless
Traditions: A Couple's Guide to Wedding Customs Around the World by Lisl
Spangenberg). Ask participants to share their own wedding photos in a
discussion or display area.
Connection Activity:
Talk about any cultural or family traditions they incorporated into their
ceremonies or that they found interesting when attending others' ceremonies.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.
87. Activity Title:
What's in a Name?
Have a conversation with someone of another culture about naming traditions.
Share your full name and nickname, if any. Ask the other person to share
theirs. Talk about traditions around names and naming. Examples might be
everything from some cultures naming children based upon expectations for
the child (Chinese), naming a child to honor a relative that has died, having
both a traditional cultural name as well as an "American" name, modern
hyphenated names, or last names that are a hybrid of the two last names of a
married or committed couple or an entirely new last name chosen for personal
Connection Activity:
Use a baby naming book to discover the ethnic origins of your name and any
other cultural derivations of your name. For example, Susan is the English
version of the Hebrew word for lily. In Italy, Susan might be Susetta, and in
French, Suzette. Talk about how important each person's name is. What did
you learn about the names of your friend or colleague? What will you do when
you meet someone for the first time to remember their name and pronounce it
88. Activity Title:
World Folk Tales
Visit a library or bookstore to find books of folk and fairy tales from other
cultures. Read appropriate children's' cultural tales to your children or
volunteer to read to other children at the library or a local grade school.
Connection Activity:
Look for common story themes across cultures and find characters that may
be familiar to your own culture or childhood. Explore how different cultures
treat story resolutions and lessons learned.
88 Ways to Celebrate Appreciate Diversity Month,
2004 copyright © ProGroup ®, Inc.